Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC)
Core Faculty: Laura Bennett-Murphy (director), Seong-In Choi, Colleen Sandor, Janine Wanlass
Associate Faculty: Lesa Ellis, Angela Hicks, Jennifer Simonds, Barbara Smith
The Masters in Mental Health Counseling program at Westminster College educates students in the fundamentals of counseling theory and practice in an experiential and interpersonal learning environment that facilitates personal and professional growth. Our aim is to train professional counselors with a sound basis in ethical behavior, psychological theories, and professional counseling skills, creating a knowledge base and capacity for thinking that can be translated into effective counseling practice with individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds. We strive to guide our students to become more self-aware and self-reflective as they hone their intellectual and emotional skills. We encourage critical thinking, emphasize professional honesty and integrity, and foster a commitment to providing services to local communities.
The program of study is designed to develop a student’s ability to:
- Practice in the field of mental health with a comprehensive understanding of ethical and professional behavior.
- Establish a professional identity in a career as a mental health counselor within a local community.
- Articulate a fundamental knowledge of research, theory, and practice in the field of counseling from a broad range of clinical perspectives.
- Engage in critical thinking skills and develop a heightened self-awareness.
- Appreciate and practice counseling skills with an acute sensitivity to issues of diversity.
- Seek professional consultation with colleagues and supervisors, facilitating engagement in a life long learning process.
- Assess individuals, families, and groups using appropriate theory and skills and derive appropriate intervention strategies to help these clients resolve their problems of living.
See the Admission to the College section for admission requirements.
The student must:
- File an acceptable program plan with the Director of the Masters in Mental Health Counseling program.
- Maintain a grade point average of 3.0. If the student receives a grade of C+ or lower in any course, the credit hours for this course do not count toward graduation requirements.
- Pass comprehensive exam (70%) and write an acceptable case conceptualization of a client in the third year of study.
- Complete the program within 5 years.
- Comply with ethical standards for counselors (ACA, ACMHCA codes) and all policies for practicum students, interns, or employees at community clinical placements. Failure to do so may result in suspension or dismissal from the program.
See Grading and Academic Standards for graduate academic probation and suspension policies.
Appeals for Readmission
See Grading and Academic Standards for information on appeals for readmission.
Program Probation and Dismissal Policy
A student may receive a practicum/internship/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course or program requirements. Students placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to satisfy the conditions listed in the written warning; however, any program probationary status will be documented in the student’s record.
A student can be dismissed from the Masters in Professional Counseling program for any of the following reasons:
- Violation of the academic honesty policy.
- Violation of the ethical code for counselors.
- Failure to maintain a GPA appropriate for the program.
- A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
- A documented violation of agency policy or procedures in a clinical placement.
Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in March and applications for May and August graduation are due in September. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.
To be eligible for a master’s degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:
- Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
- Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
- Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
- Maintain good academic standing.
- Earn a grade of B- or higher in all graduate courses.
Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.
The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual.
Students must complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work drawn from the following:
|I. Required Courses||54|
|MSMHC 605 Seminar in Professional Roles I (1)|
|MSMHC 606 Seminar in Professional Roles II (1)|
|MSMHC 610 Counseling Ethics (2)|
|MSMHC 612 Statistics and Research Methods (3)|
|MSMHC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM (3)|
|MSMHC 618 Individual Psychotherapy (3)|
|MSMHC 620 Infant and Child Development (3)|
|MSMHC 622 Adolescent and Adult Development (3)|
|MSMHC 625 Test and Measurement Theory (2)|
|MSMHC 628 Group Psychotherapy (3)|
|MSMHC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theory (3)|
|MSMHC 633 Child Psychotherapy (3)|
|MSMHC 636 Clinical Assessment (3)|
|MSMHC 639 Multicultural Counseling (3)|
|MSMHC 640 Counseling Practicum (3)|
|MSMHC 642 Substance Abuse Treatment (3)|
|MSMHC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory (3)|
|MSMHC 645 Career Counseling and Development (3)|
|MSMHC 660 Internship I (1–3)|
|MSMHC 661 Internship II (1–3)|
|II. Elective Courses||6|
|MSMHC 650* Special Topics Seminars (3)|
|MSMHC 670* Thesis Research (1–6)|
|TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MSMHC DEGREE||60|
*All numbered courses are required; however, students may choose either 6 hours of special topics seminars or 6 hours of thesis research. Students are required to take and pass comprehensive exams prior to April 1st of their third year. (Students should be aware that completion of this program is partial preparation for licensure as an LCMHC, since additional clinical practice hours are needed to meet the licensure requirements. Utah requires 4,000 supervised clinical hours prior to licensure.)